MAC Announces First Gymnast and Specialist Award Winners of 2011

Updated 1/10/2011
Gymnast of the Week
Marie Case, Kent State, Fr., Erie, Pa./Mercyhurst Prep
Freshman Marie Case (Erie, Pa.) came up big in her collegiate debut, winning the all-around with a total score of 39.075 as Kent State recorded a solid 194.775-193.125 season opening victory over Maryland Sunday (Jan. 9) at the M.A.C. Center. She won both the floor exercise with a 9.850 and balance beam with a 9.800 in addition to tying for second place on the vault with a 9.725. Kent State improved to 36-12 in season opening dual meets -- including a 36-11 record in home opening dual meets. The Flashes have won their last 12 straight home opening dual meets. The No. 12-ranked Golden Flashes go all-in Friday (Jan. 14), traveling to Las Vegas to take on Sacramento State in the Lady Luck Invitational.

Specialist of the Week
Darrian Tissenbaum, Central Michigan, So., Pittsburgh, Pa./Mount Lebanon
Tissenbaum helped CMU earn its best team score in a season opener as the Chippewas won the Sacramento State Quadrangular. Tissenbaum scored a career-high 9.825 on vault for her first career event win at CMU. She followed that up with another career-high on bars, taking second with a 9.750.

Additional Nominees
Nicole Allen, Ball State, So., Buford, Ga./Hebron Christian Academy
Nicole Allen won the floor exercise with a 9.750 score and tied for first on the vault with a 9.700 in Ball State's season opening meet at Pittsburgh . . . Allen, who placed third in the all-around with a 38.100, managed a career high on the floor.

Emily Wehrle, Ball State, So., New London, Wis./New London
Emily Wehrle tied for second on the balance beam with a 9.675 mark.

Dawn Christman, Bowling Green, Jr., Pottstown, Pa./Owen J. Roberts
Dawn Christman finished first in the all-around with a score of 38.425 to help lead the Falcons to a 190.225-185.525 win over Illinois Chicago. The junior finished first on floor (9.775), second on vault (9.775), third on beam (9.425) and sixth on bars (9.450), Her all-around score was a career-best.

Danielle Wishart, Bowling Green, So., Bethesda, Md./Holy Cross
Danielle Wishart made the most of her two events on Sunday afternoon, posting a 9.850 on vault and 9.525 on floor to help the Falcons to a win over Illinois-Chicago to start the 2011 campaign. She finished first on vault and fourth on the floor exercise.

Andrea de la Garza, Central Michigan, Sr., Macomb, Mich./Dakota
Andrea de la Garza won a pair of events to help CMU win the Sacramento State Quadrangular. De la Garza won the all-around with a 38.725 and tied for first on beam with a 9.775. The senior also tallied top three finishes on bars and floor as the Chippewas tallied their top season opening score since 2004.

Lindsay Runyan, Kent State, So., Maineville, Ohio/Ursuline
Sophomore Lindsay Runyan (Maineville, Ohio) claimed the highest event score of the day and set a new personal best in doing so, posting a 9.900 for the win on the uneven bars as Kent State recorded a solid 194.775-193.125 victory over Maryland Sunday (Jan. 9) at the M.A.C. Center. Runyan also posted a 9.725 in her career debut on the balance beam to tie for sixth place.

Ashley Guerra, Northern Illinois, Jr., Orland Park, Ill./Carl Sandburg
In the Huskies' 2011 season opening meet vs. No. 17 Illinois and No. 24 Kentucky at the University of Kentucky, Ashley Guerra posted two of NIU's best scores of the night on her two events. A 2010 NCAA Regional qualifier on the uneven parallel bars, Guerra scored a 9.600 on her first routine of the year to tie for 9th place. She led the Huskies off on the beam and scored a 9.550 to earn 10th place. Her scores ranked second on the Huskie team in both events.

Caroline O'Brien, Western Michigan, So., Loveland, Ohio/Loveland
Sophomore Caroline O'Brien led the way as Western Michigan defeated in-state rival Michigan State for the first time in school history Friday. O'Brien competed in three events for the Broncos, and had her scores used in all three. She was WMU's top finisher on the uneven bars, scoring a career-high 9.825. She had the team's second-best score on the floor with a 9.675 and tallied a 9.650 on the balance beam. No. 9 Michigan and Iowa also competed in the four-team meet. It was the first time in 31 meetings the Broncos have topped the Spartans.

Kelsey Turnquist, Western Michigan, Fr., Novi, Mich./Walled Lake Western
Freshman Kelsey Turnquist posted Western Michigan's highest individual finish as the Broncos defeated in-state rival Michigan State for the first time in school history Friday. In her only event, Turnquist stuck a team-best 9.725 on the balance beam, taking third overall in the meet. No. 9 Michigan and Iowa also competed in the four-team meet. It was the first time in 31 meetings the Broncos have topped the Spartans.